HT: What teams do you think will win their divisions? (NL East, Central and West; AL East, Central and West)
JH: In the NL East, The Braves will pull it out at the wire over the Phillies. In the NL Central, the Cards will roll. In the NL West, it’ll be the Rockies. The AL East will have the Yanks by 3 games over the Red Sox. The AL central will shock the world with Cleveland taking the division–Sizemore matters. The Seattle Mariners will win going away in the AL West.
HT: What teams do you think will be the AL and NL Wild Card teams this year?
JH: The Wild Cards will go to the Phillies and the Red Sox.
For the second part of the preview, we got a little personal…
HT: What’s your favorite baseball team?
JH: The Mets are still my favorite team, in spite of the fact the owner tore down Shea stadium, and then renamed the new one after a bank.
HT: How do you think the Mets will do in ’10?
JH: My Mets should fare much better than last year. Hopefully our leading power hitter will have more than 12 homers. I can feel Johan Santana’s frustration every time I see him in the dugout. He’s such a great competitor. All my bandmates are Braves fans, so I’ll probably have to take the heat this year like I did throughout the ’90s, ’cause I think they’re gonna play like there’s no tomorrow for Bobby Cox.
HT: How do you feel about the Mets’ offseason?
JH: Jason Bay will be a great addition to the lineup. It would take Dr. Kildare and House to make me feel good about the Mets’ off-season.
HT: Do you participate in Fantasy/Rotisserie Baseball? If so, how did your team do last year?
JH: I don’t participate in fantasy baseball, but if I did, I’d team up with Col. Bruce Hampton.
HT: How closely do you follow the Mets when you’re out on the road?
JH: The road actually gives me a chance to follow baseball more closely than at home. I never miss a day without going through the box scores.
JoJo Plays Tall Boy in Telluride
HT: What’s your favorite ballpark memory?
JH: My favorite ball park memory is my first visit to Shea Stadium. Jerry Koosman pitched and Don Clendennon came over and waved to us at our seats. He was the classiest guy in baseball.
HT: What’s your favorite stadium to visit?
JH: My favorite stadium to visit these days is Wrigley Field. The history, the green ivy, and the vibe of the crowd on a sunny afternoon makes me glad to be alive.
HT: What’s your favorite ballpark food?
JH: Stevens hot dog with guldens spicy mustard. I didn’t know they served anything else?
HT: Who is your favorite player (current and/or all-time)?
JH: I met Willie Stargell when I was a kid at spring training in Bradenton, and he was larger than life. The things he taught me that day have stayed with me to this day. Let’s have a little chicken on the hill with Will.
HT: Finally, what player do you love to hate?
JH: Anyone in a Yankees uniform.
Many thanks to JoJo for taking the time to chat with us about baseball. Widespread Panic’s latest studio album, Dirty Side Down, comes out on May 25. Panic returns to the stage on April 16th for the first of two performances at the Wanee Festival in Live Oak, FL.